La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna, 2011, Sella and Mosca, 13% alcohol, $12.75
First, let me say that Metro Wines has been both enthusiastic and proud to introduce you to new white grapes from Italy. While other countries gave in to the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon decades long marketing blitz, Italy stayed the course. Italy continued to do what Italy does. Continued to grow their indigenous grapes, caring for the already old vines, and maintaining traditional wine making methods. The result is centuries old white grapes you have tried here such as Inzolia, Grillo, Verdicchio and Soave. We ask you to step outside your comfort zone and try again. This is Vermentino!
And Metro Wines is not the only one asking. See the interview with Kermit Lynch in The New York Times Magazine today. When asked if there are grape varietals that he finds "Particularly interesting right now," Kermit Lynch replied: "I'm a big fan right now of vermentino. Probably 50 or 60 percent of the bottles I open at home for my own drinking are white burgundies or vermentinos." (sidebar: Metro Wines has a Kermit Lynch white burgundy on the shelf now.)
100% Vermentino grown and bottled in Sardegna (Sardinia) the wine reflects the very distinct and unique terroir of the island. The winemaker tells us that this varietal, quite at home in a warm climate, flat out thrives under the influence of mistral winds. Pale straw in color with a lemon peel green washing. The Vermentino does the spectacularly beautiful Sardegna proud. A feel good amber yellow in color, the leaves are dark green and pentagonal hanging in pyramidal bunches. The grapes are grown on slopes facing the sea where the bunches can benefit from the reflected light.
These beautiful grapes make wine at La Cala by being harvested early to increase the concentration of flavors. The result is a zesty apple and pear on the palate. The crisp finish is, as the winemaker says, characteristic of this versatile white grape, ahhhh, Vermentino! I know what you are saying. Light, crisp, sounds like summer. And you would be right. This wine is perfect for a hot day. But it is also a new idea for an aperitif and I am just guessing here but I bet the calendar does not stop you from having shellfish and seafood. Paging Vermentino.